The Saxophones, husband and wife duo Alexi Erenkov and Alison Alderdice, return with their second album Eternity Bay, which follows their debut album, 2018’s Songs of the Saxophones, and a string of sold-out 7” singles.
Recorded and produced by Cameron Spies and mixed by Noah Georgeson, the analog 16-track-tape recording method complemented the band’s preferred minimalism. Noah’s meticulous, dense layering both crystallised The Saxophones’ sound and found new energy within it, without losing the expansive feel they’d honed on previous records. Not so much everything but the kitchen sink as nothing but the kitchen sink, you could say, except Eternity Bay is more of a spiritual grapple than kitchen sink realism. Granted, its opening settings are ordinary enough: a trailer park motel and its neighbouring dive bar, The Lamplighter. But no sooner have you finished your fireball at the bar do you find yourself contemplating the full range of human experience: parenthood, work, faith, dreams, uncertainty, fear.
Musically, too, Eternity Bay appears relatively uncomplicated, but the influence of jazz is never far away, its intricacies lending the tracks a distinctive gravity. The result is a carefully planted landscape of woodwind, guitar, and vocals. Alexi’s voice dwells on the threshold of fragility, a tantalizing brink that defines much of the record’s themes: the brink between the bloom and wither of life, hope and futility, the everyday rat-race and floating adrift, comfort and change. But despite a melancholy that lingers from their debut album.